2017: The whiplash year for K-pop

What does it mean to go from one of the most validating years to its most heartbreaking.

2017 was the year that put Korean pop (K-pop) on the map. And not in a mocking, other-ing way, like how “Gangnam Style” swept pop culture in 2013. No, this year K-pop, specifically boy bands, hit mainstream America and made an impression. As a fan since 2012 (I came late to the game, I know) watching K-pop’s rise was both one of the most amazing things to see… and eventually one of the most heartbreaking. Continue reading

Overlooking Japanese anime film “Your Name” discredits an animated hit

Leaving the movie of the 2016 Academy Awards shows its inherent bias.

Out of the 89 years of the Academy Awards, only one Japanese anime film won Best Animated Feature Film: Hayao Miyazaki’s classic Spirited Away in 2003. In the almost fifteen years since then, very few anime films and shorts show up in the list. The snobbery for anime showed up again last year when the Academy did not nominate the internationally successful film Your Name (Kimi no Na Wa) from director Makoto Shinkai. After its release, multiple awards worldwide, and critical acclaim, the Academy missed recognizing Your Name as an example of a work that goes beyond the standard anime genre to tell the story of fate, missed connections, and first love. Continue reading

The Woman: The femme fatale in modern Sherlock Holmes

Irene Adler in Elementary is the perfect femme fatale.

In the vast canon of Sherlock Holmes, only one woman stands out: Irene Adler. Introduced in the short story, “A Scandal in Bohemia,” Adler receives the dubious introduction as “the woman.” She’s an object of affection or desire, because the great detective Sherlock Holmes could never feel something so base as love; instead Dr. Watson recalls that to Holmes Irene Adler “eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex.” Now over a hundred years and two successful TV shows later, Irene Adler evolved from a mildly scandalous New Jersey opera singer to the classic femme fatale. Continue reading

This is journalism goals with Lisa Ling

Exploring America with one of my favorite journalists.

I’d heard about the Taiwanese American journalist Lisa Ling, and in high school I read the book she co-wrote with her sister Laura — Somewhere Inside — about Laura’s captivity in North Korea. Both the sisters became huge inspirations and role models to me as journalists, women, and Asian Americans. So when I saw CNN put all of Lisa Ling’s series This is Life on Hulu, I knew how I was spending my weekend. Continue reading

Strong female leads: an adventure in anime

All I want in life is a kickass heroine.

Recently one of my friends and I were discusisng some of her favorite badass women in anime. Being lifelong weebs (or is otaku the cutesy “reclaimed” Western nickname major anime fans like to use?) this was an hours long discussion about different types of strength, the eras each anime came out, and character development. It also got me thinking about how people not familiar with anime view it as stereotypically sexist, when if done right it has some of the strongest, smartest, and most capable female representation. Continue reading

When Mashable called out “SNL”

Christina Warren was not having this bit — and she was right.

I cannot look away from Apple. I love all of their over-priced products, constantly watch out for the latest rumors, and cannot look away from every keynote. As much as I love pop culture and hard, gritty news, I really want to be a tech reporter for places like Wired, The Verge, or Mashable. But like everything else in the tech world, there’s an bezel-less, OLED glass ceiling.

While I watched Apple’s most recent WWDC on Monday, I kept remembering an op-ed from Mashable that I read a few years ago by Christina Warren where she took a bad SNL joke to task. Continue reading

Other kickass female buddy movies we need in the works

Rihanna & Lupita Nyong’o are the first, but they shouldn’t be the last.

After one photo of Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o at a fashion show went viral, a user on Tumblr captioned, “They look like they’re in a heist movie with Rihanna as the tough-as-nails leader/master thief and Lupita as the genius computer hacker.” And a glorious, wonderful meme was born. But more importantly, fairy godmother on earth Ava DuVernay blessed us all and granted our wish. Continue reading

Photos from the Vulture Festival pop trivia from team Crazy Ex Girlfriend

Who brings a hand-made sign to Vulture Festival? “Crazy Ex” Fans #TeamBUNCHofCHANpions 5ever.

A few weeks ago, I sat around twiddling my thumbs when my friend sent me the link to the Vulture Festival in New York City. Special guests included panels with the cast of “Riverdale,” a discussion with Stephen Colbert, a taping/ show with 2 Dope Queens, and so much more. It was a great line up, but my friend and I kept our eyes on the prize: Pop trivia with the cast of Orange Is the New Black versus the cast of Crazy Ex Girlfriend.

I’ve written before how I fell in love with Crazy Ex, and why I believe everyone else should love it too. It’s an absurdist, whimsical, pointed rom-com that’s also a musical — what more does a person need? So given the chance to spend two hours watching the main cast, we stood in line an hour early, speed-walked our way through registration, and sat front row to all the shenanigans. Continue reading

Brightening my week with the“Perfectly Imperfect” podcast

It’s like if Christine Chen and Regina Fang were you older sisters.

Y’know that feeling when someone tells you the exact thing you just really needed to hear, even if you didn’t know you needed it? That’s what listening to Christine Chen and Regina Fang’s new podcast “Perfectly Imperfect” feels like every week.

Hosts and long-time friends Christine Chen and Regina Fang decided to start “Perfectly Imperfect” as a chance to share their stories as women with others, having honest conversations about life, hopes, success, dreams, and failures. Both women know what it’s like misunderstanding your family, struggling through school, figuring life out post-grad, and working in a boy’s club and want to share their experiences. Continue reading

The women of today’s Sherlock Holmes

Modern remakes of the famous duo also means updated takes on the women.

I love Sherlock Holmes. I’ve been working through the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle series for the past few years, loved Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law’s movies, wait (forever) for every season of Sherlock, and last fall I binged Elementary. With each new version of the classic stories, I always like seeing where they go with the same base characters — especially the women.

After the season four premiere episode, a Mary-heavy story, Sophie Gilbert wrote an article in The Atlantic (contains spoilers) talking about the women in Sherlock. Gilbert’s “The Troublesome Women of ‘Sherlock’” looks at all the different women in the show, their characters, backstories, development, and lack thereof. Looking at quotes from creators Mark Gatiss and Stephen Moffat, quotes from the original books, and articles written about “Sherlock,” Gilbert points out the faults of the show’s female representation. Continue reading